Pawn 101: Pawn shop scammed

Is that real gold?

Is that real gold?

Here’s an odd little story — in its entirety — from the Bradenton Herald:

MANATEE — A Manatee County pawn shop has been ripped off by a jewelry fraud artist.

Officials with America’s Super Pawn, 5612 15th St. E., say they paid out $550 for what they thought was a 10-karat gold chain with charms, but which turned out to be worthless metal, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.

The transaction occurred on Oct. 1, but the pawn shop manager was just notified Tuesday by the company’s jewelry analysis expert that the gold chain was fake and of no value, the report states.

The pawn shop manager notified the sheriff’s office.

It is believed the subject who sold the necklace has sold other fake jewelry to pawn shops throughout Manatee and Sarasota, the report adds.

Odd because at our Maui pawn shop, we test all gold coming in. It is possible to fool the tester, but the touchstone is seldom fooled by something like a chain. Didn’t Manatee Pawn Shop test?
Maybe it was busy and they were in a rush. So if you ever have to wait a minute or two during the Christmas rush because the customer ahead of you in line is having her chain tested, that’s why. Always test.
Odder yet is the hint that the same scamster has hit other shops. Don’t any of the shops test? We know some Florida pawnbrokers, and we are sure almost all of them do test.
Has somebody in south Florida gone to the trouble of making some trick chains that defeat the touchstone? It could be done, but it would be a lot of work, both to manufacture the fake chains and then to pass them out in $500 lots all over a county.
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